This morning I saw a link from Tracy, about hideous attacks made online toward a female athlete. It is at once hard for me to believe and completely predictable. We seem to have created an appetite in our culture for one-upping, sometimes it’s in terms of danger, but other times it’s really just about cruelty.
How outrageous can an insult be?
How severely can a person be drawn and quartered for their looks, sexual orientation, political views, or just their personality?
I could link to an example for each, but at some point you have to stop feeding the embers.
This afternoon I received an email from the Huffington Post letting me know that they were going to run my post about struggling with a lifetime of faulty self-image. Even though the words are my own, rereading them I realize that I still struggle. I like how I look, but then a pair of pants feel snug and I become weighed down with a film of non-specific failure. It is relentless and there are no clear culprits.
Can I separate liking how I look from how something fits? If I like the shape of my body, why does how a certain thing fits bother me? When did I ever determine that there was a perfect? And what the heck is it other than whatever I feel I am not?
The truth is that image matters, the most important image being your own of yourself. As my daughters move forward I want them to find secure footing in the realm of how they see themselves. They are exquisite, often times most so for the things that are “imperfect”—a cowlick, a perpetual stain on the left side of their shirts, or the soft whistling they release as they sleep.
I want them to be able to face loving themselves.